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Re: LF: Advice to beginners

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Advice to beginners
From: "Steve Rawlings" <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 21:48:51 +0100
References: <[email protected]>
Reply-to: [email protected]
Sender: <[email protected]>
Hi All,

My thanks to Mike G3XDV for providing some good advice for
beginners - I think that we have the first draft of an 'LF
Elmer's Handbook' contained within Mike's recent Email!
Mike also wrote:
If I had been restricted to 5W in my early days I would have given up long ago,
and I am sure that Steve would have done so, too.
I'm sorry if I conveyed an impression of 'restriction' in my
earlier Email.  What I really wanted to demonstrate was that
newcomers to 136 kHz could use QRP as an 'entry level' stepping
stone to this fascinating band.

Let's go back to mid-March 1998, and consider my own experience. Using a less-than-optimum receive set-up, GW0GHF (42 km) was the
first station to hear my 15 W signal on 136 kHz.  At the time, I
was using a very poor single-turn loop antenna: tuned by very
lossy capacitors; and fed by a very lossy balun (wound on an
EMC-grade toroidal core).
By the following week, I had completed my first QSO with Graham
G3XTZ over a distance of 157 km: with me still plugging away with
my 15 W into that same loop - fed by a rather warm matching
network!  For me, that QSO was my stepping stone.

Be realistic: If you have a 40m dipole, 8m above ground and strapped as a
Marconi, over poor soil, you are wasting your time with 5W.
Wow!  I wish I had such a big antenna!  I wonder how it would
perform against my 12 m vertical (with no top loading)?
Seriously though, 5 watts into a small antenna can still make
quite an effective set-up for those first LF QSOs across town.  I
trust that I have proved this to be the case.  I'll leave it to
others to decide whether I was wasting my time.
Regards to all,
Steve GW4ALG

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